With each day that passes the humanitarian catastrophe in Tigray is getting worse. Despite it being one of the worst crises of the 21st century with ongoing violence and immense suffering of civilians, the international community have remained woefully silent.

Since November 4, 2020, the Tigray region of Ethiopia has been subjected to a devastating military campaign initiated by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in collaboration with Eritrean Dictator Isaias Afwerki. This campaign has imposed severe restrictions and blockades on essential resources for millions of Tigrayan civilians, including aid, food, water, electricity, telecommunications, healthcare, and banking services. The region is now facing a genocidal crisis marked by extreme violence, widespread human rights abuses, massive displacement, and over a million deaths as reported by various human rights organisations.

Despite the signing of the Pretoria Agreement, which was intended to halt hostilities, the situation in Tigray, Ethiopia, remains dire with 40% of the region still occupied.

On June 3rd 2024, the New Lines Institute released a report called “Genocide in Tigray: Serious breaches of international law in the Tigray conflict, Ethiopia, and paths to accountability” highlighting that, on the evidence currently available, there is a reasonable basis to believe that members of the ENDF, the Amhara Special Forces (“ASF”), and the EDF have committed genocide against Tigrayans.

Key Statistics Highlighting the Crisis:

  • 80% of Health Facilities have been looted, vandalised, or destroyed.
  • 2.2 Million+ internally displaced individuals.
  • Up to 800,000+ civilians are believed and estimated to have been killed, with many areas still inaccessible.
  • Over 120,000 women and girls have been subject to sexual violence.
  • 70,000 refugees fled to Sudan, living in dire conditions in refugee camps.
  • The United Nations has warned that up to 5 million people in Tigray need emergency food assistance, with estimates suggesting that 400,000 people are living in famine-like conditions.

This moment requires action from all of us. Australian Members of Parliament and Senators must publicly call for:

  1. Call for Public Statements: We request that the Australian Government publicly condemn the crimes documented in the report to send a strong signal of Australia’s commitment to upholding human rights and international law. Australia also has a collective legal responsibility as a signatory state to the Geneva Conventions and the Genocide Convention.
  2. Dedicated Refugee Intake Program: Over 70,000 Tigrayan refugees remain in Sudan who are also facing a crisis and over 2.2 million are internally displaced, Australia should advocate for a dedicated refugee intake program for Tigrayan refugees.
  3. Increased Humanitarian Aid and Support for Rebuilding: The United Nations has warned that up to 5 million people in Tigray need emergency food assistance, with estimates suggesting that 400,000 people are living in famine-like conditions.
    Australia has the capacity to significantly enhance aid contributions to assist in the recovery and rebuilding of Tigray. This includes funding for infrastructure reconstruction, healthcare, and education systems.
  4. Justice and accountability: We urge Australia to take an active role in assisting the International Criminal Court (ICC) in addressing these allegations. Support for international justice mechanisms is crucial to holding perpetrators accountable and preventing further crimes. We need our members of Parliament to raise this to our Foreign Minister, Penny Wong.
  5. Accountability for aid distribution: The report states that the Ethiopian Government is continuing to weaponise food against the Tigrayan people, and the UN has remained silent on this matter. It is imperative that the aid reaches those in need without being used as a tool of conflict. We request that the Australian Government advocate for a UN investigation into the distribution of aid to internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Your MP is elected to represent you, so it’s important they know that you as a constituent want them to act on the crisis in Tigray. Tell your MP, and your elected representatives, to reflect your views in Parliament!

Email your MP and urge them to speak out and take action to protect civilians in Tigray, Ethiopia.